Nowa Aleksandria
Nowa Aleksandria

If you own just one Polish punk rec--  No, honestly! If you own just one Polish punk record it ought to be Nowa Aleksandria. Apparently this 1986 side, a sustained howl of yoof-ful dissatisfaction which is magnficiently stripped-down and bleak and aggressive but has a very New Wave energy and sheen about it, was a big deal in its homeland, providing a suitably paranoid and frustrated soundtrack to those last years of life under Communist rule. Songs like the title track and ‘Bez Konca’ are high-velocity, synth-enhanced anthems – ANTHEMS - that effortlessly vault over the language barrier to convey an incredible mix of bitterness, optimism and longing for escape. It’s incredibly engineered, guitars chugging and crunching and iridescent like a souped-up Outsiders; bruisingly percussive throughout, songs like ‘To Slowa’ have a simultaneously dub-wise and proto-metal intensity that betrays a clear debt to Killing Joke. In terms of its legacy, well, we were turned on to Nowa a few years ago by Diat, and they’ve clearly learned a lot from from the driving basslines and stinging whiplash leads of ‘Ludzie Wschodu'. They can't, or shouldn't, be the only ones: Siekiera here provide the blueprint for unhealthily-skinny-but-tough-as-f**k post-punk/darkwave PERFECTION. If you dig any of the above, or Blitz’s Second Empire Justice, or peak Chameleons, you need this record. It’s been reissued and bootied umpteen times, respect to Mannequin for giving it its first official release outside Poland.


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